Over the past nearly two decades, along with my   current students,   post-doctoral fellows,   long-term associates and   former students and post-doctoral scholars and long term collaborators , I have worked on millisecond pulsars, old neutron stars, young neutron stars, brown dwarfs, soft gamma-ray repeaters, supernova remnants, gamma-ray bursts and new types of optical transients. I love surfing the electromagnetic spectrum and building new gizmos. My current focus is the Palomar Transient Factory, an innovative two-telescope approach to a systematic study of the transient sky. Ongoing instrumentation projects: Robo-AO which aims to be the first robotic AO (Rayleigh scattering) AO system well suited for 2-m class telescopes; the SED Machine which aims to leave no transient unclassfied.
Starting September 2011 I will be on sabbatical for a year. In the past I have taught Ay122 (Techniques & Measurements), Ay125 (High Energy Astrophysics) and Ay123 (Interstellar Medium).
I was born in the principality of Kurundwad (Maharashtra) and grew up in Hubli (Karnataka). I was lucky by being able to attending excellent institutions, having inspiring teachers and surrounded by a high quality peer group: Kendriya Vidyalaya (Central School), Hubli; the Indian Institute of Technoly, Delhi (MS) and the University of California, Berkeley (PhD).
I hold a McArthur Professorhip in Astronomy & Planetary Science. In 2006 I assumed the position of Director of the Caltech Optical Observatories (which include Palomar, the W. M. Keck Observatory partnership and the Thirty Meter Telescope partnership). In 2007, Cornell University conferred on me the title of Andrew D. White Professor-at-large.
I have a life-long interest in interferometry. For my thesis I built a microwave linked one baseline intereferometer (Arecibo-Los Canos). I spent two decades of my life on the now defunct Space Interferometry Misison.
Over time I have drifted from radio astronomy to optical astronomy. I love using telescopes and am familiar with Arecibo Observatory, the Very Large Array, Parkes Observatory , Palomar Observatory, and Keck Observatory.
An important part of my academic life at Caltech are the Monday lunches . I meet my theory colleagues (usually Phinney, Ott, Hirata, Goldreich and occasionally Thorne) theory postdocs and students every Monday at 12 noon. We have a free wheeling discussion on recent results in literature and summaries of recent conferences.
Over the next five years (a typical horizon timescale for me) I intend to focus on mini-satellites (less than 100 kg). I welcome enquiries from hard working, independendent minded and passionate students and post-docs.